A student who left the University of Lincoln after only one year of study was given a degree by accident.

Frankie Bellingham, who was studying for a joint degree in journalism and film and television, was expecting a higher education certificate to show that she had completed her first year.

However, Bellingham explains: “The post lady asked me to sign something and I noticed it was from the University of Lincoln, I opened it and thought it was just my higher education certificate. I got confused when I realised it said I was now a Bachelor of Arts and that I had been awarded a degree.”

Bellingham says that the university has apologised for the confusion and have asked her to return the certificate.

“My reaction was at first just sheer confusion as to what my certificate meant. When I realised it was the wrong thing I got really frustrated because it is delaying my UCAS process as I need evidence of my higher education certificate to show I completed my first year at Lincoln,” Bellingham says.

“I think it just shows the poor administration process of the university. ”

A university spokesperson said: “The student in question was not awarded a degree — the Examination Board awarded her a Certificate of Higher Education. The Certificate of Higher Education is the award recorded for the individual on the student record system.

“An administrative error led to the certificate being misprinted. This was an isolated incident. Steps have already been taken to ensure that such an error should not be repeated in future.”